House Construction Almost Done, Home Construction Just Beginning

The journey to our new home continues.  While I have continued to use my trusty Home Building Binder and Expandable Folder, let me assure you not all has gone as planned.  Add to that our crazy moves (two to be exact), and well, it’s been all we expected and more!

My husband and I have built 5 personal homes, counting the current house under construction.  We love the process.  We get along during the process, which some would say is a testament to our marriage.  Of course, there are those who say we are crazy and I am sure there are those who would judge us for spending the money.  No comment.  We love the process.  We have learned from the process.  We look forward each time to the construction of the house, but even more to the construction of the home.

Paul and I share the gift of hospitality.  We truly believe our home is meant to be used to entertain, welcome, serve, heal and encourage others.  We love guests-so yes, if you are reading and want to come visit-COME ON!  We have sought to teach our girls to love home-to care for it using principles of biblical stewardship; to spend time in it; to entertain friends; to create in it…  We have not built extravagant houses.  I have yet to get my Viking Range in my dream kitchen.  The Moroccan tile bathroom got nixed.  The pantry turned out smaller than planned.  One closet was negatively impacted by a failure to realize the door needed to be off center.  There are moments of disappointment.  There are moments of frustration.  So why do we do it?  How do we survive it?  Simply focus on the home you want to build, not the construction of a house.  The house construction will go awry.  Subs will make mistakes.  Subs will be late.  Concrete, boards, sheet rock, duct work, etc… are simply the framework for the house.  Yes, it requires planning and attention to detail.  But if your focus is on the framework, you’ll end up one frustrated, disappointed, angry person.  However, if you focus your attention on the outcome-how you want to LIVE in the home, you’ll be able to let the little things be little things.  I can still prepare delicious meals without a Viking.  My kitchen can still be filled with light, laughter and love without a Viking Range.  The clothes will still fit in the not so perfect closet and it can lead to an opportunity to scavenger the area for a worn armoire to paint, adding some pizzazz and style to a daughter’s room.  As we walk through our imperfect construction, we talk about the events we want to host, we talk about where friends will sleep, we talk about pool parties and family holidays.  The joy of building comes in dreaming about all that will take place in our home.

We are nearing the end.  Three more weeks!  We are excited.  We are grateful.  We are ready to get back to normal-if such a thing exists.  But most of all, we are ready to share our home.  We are past the little mistakes.  We are past the frustration and disappointment.  We have our eye on the prize- a framework of a house turned into a home as we live, laugh, play in it.  We can’t wait to welcome family, friends and even strangers.  We are almost done with construction, but the journey to constructing our home has just begun!

 

5 Tips for Surviving Construction

1.  Plan, plan and then plan some more (see previous post)

2.  Communicate with your contractor daily-even if just a short text.

3.  Walk through your home with plans in hand every day.

4.  Expect mistakes and delays.

5.  Spend more time talking about how you will live in the home, than what you want it to look like.

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Storm Before the Calm

packing

We are moving.  We have anticipated this day.  In fact, crazy of crazy, we chose this!

We are thrilled to be constructing a new home.  One built for us as “empty nesters”, though not yet there.  It’s also being built in hopes it will be an enticement for lots of friends, college girls to return home to, and one day grandchildren to play at.  I know.  Lofty expectations.  I seem to have a problem with high expectations!

As we prepare, although it’s a little hard to say “we”, I am reminded that more often than not, life is a storm before the calm.  I know the saying is reversed, but in my life, storm before the calm seems much more appropriate.  My schedule often hits storm level before I find my way to decisions about what I am to be engaged in, what is “best” for me/us.  The house often hits tornado storm stage, before I see clearly where I want things to b stored/used.  So it is with a move.  The house is in “controlled” chaos as cabinets are emptied and only what we love and use finds its way to the boxes.  Packing 13 years of stuff seems overwhelming.  The storm tosses and turns us as we seek to move towards the calm.

Yet, if I am honest (and all of my friends can attest to), I love change.  There is something about the storm that energizes me, drives me to activity and dreaming.  I push hard and accomplish a great deal.  Maybe it’s because I long for the calm and know it will serve as great reward.  Whatever it is about me, I love change.  I also love houses, and family, and entertaining and well, LIFE!  So, how do I survive the storm called ‘moving’?  I do it with a plan.  I attack it much the same way I attack any organizing project for SOS: Simplified, Organized, Styled.

1.  Pick a room and begin there.  DO NOT move on to another room until you have pretty much completed that room.  I began with the master bedroom.  I packed up our out of season clothes-being ruthless as I went.  I typically pack clothing and bedding in plastic bins purchased at a discount store.  I am going to try some of the new Zip Lock space saver bags.  (I’ll try to remember to post my opinion of  them.)  I then packed up books, recycled all the magazines, and packed the extra set of linens (If you remember from a previous post, I only keep one set of extra linens per bed-we use ’em ’til they are threadbare and ready for the trash-then purchase a nice new set. Why store linens when 90% of us just wash the set on the bed and put it right back on!)  All of these boxes are labeled MASTER and are stacked neatly in a corner.

2.  Pick the next room.  For me, it is the great room.  Books and shelving decor packed first.  Then small furniture cleaned and wrapped with protective foam on legs, drawers removed from side tables etc…  Once again, these boxes are clearly labeled and stacked together IN the great room.

Continue this process.  I generally live by the “15 Minute” rule, but for this project it’s more like the “1.5 hour” rule.  Turn a show on and get to it!  You’d be amazed how much you get packed and how ruthless you can be about stuff after a full day of work :).  My goal is always to have things grouped by room so that as the movers load the truck the items go on the truck in a group.  This should mean that as they are unloaded, they come out in groups as well.  The plan isn’t perfect, but after 9 moves, I can tell you it is 90% full proof.

I’d write more, but guess what?!  Yep, boxes are calling.  Remember, there’s always a storm before the calm.  Think towards, plan towards the calm.  It’ll be all the sweeter AFTER the storm!